Maricopa County sees biggest population growth in the country

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Is it the sunshine?

The job growth?

The low tax rate?

People are moving to Maricopa County in record numbers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Maricopa County had the largest population growth in the United States last year.

"You've got a big metropolitan area, it's close to California, close to Mexico, and lots of opportunities," said Nikhil Cheerharan, who recently moved to Phoenix from Maryland. "This place is booming right now. Why wouldn't you want to be here?"

Maricopa County has always been a great place to move to, but it's never been as popular as it is now.

According to a new U.S. Census report, 81,360 people moved to Maricopa County from July 2015 to July 2016. That's more than any other county in the entire country, with nearly 223 people moving to Maricopa County every day.

Phoenix Realtor Sean McCarthy said that's good news for home values and the Valley's housing market.    

"Earlier this year, Realtor.com named us the best real estate market for 2017," said McCarthy. "When you couple that with a lot more people coming in, demand will be strong and the market should be strong for months to come."

But what impact will the population boom have on schools? Will classes get overcrowded? What about traffic? Will there be enough jobs to go around?

County Board of Supervisors chairman Denny Barney said they've been planning for a bump in population for years, and having more people in the workforce can only help.

"Phoenix is a great jobs market right now," Barney said. "We've got a lot of great economic drivers, manufacturing, bio-science, healthcare and aerospace. People are coming here for jobs and that's good for economy."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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